Bud­get deficit topped $1T in ’19 for the first time since ’12

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON — The fed­eral bud­get deficit sur­passed $1 tril­lion in 2019, the Trea­sury Depart­ment re­ported Mon­day, as tax cuts and spend­ing in­creases con­tin­ued to force heavy govern­ment bor­row­ing amid a record-long eco­nomic ex­pan­sion.

The deficit grew by 17% from 2018 to 2019, the Trea­sury data shows. That was a slow­down from the 28% growth in 2018, the first year Pres­i­dent Donald Trump’s sig­na­ture tax cuts were in full ef­fect.

It was the first cal­en­dar year since 2012 that the deficit topped $1 tril­lion. Deficits swelled af­ter the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis, as law­mak­ers cut taxes and in­creased spend­ing in an ef­fort to re­vive growth. The gap had nar­rowed through 2015 un­der a bud­get agree­ment be­tween Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and Repub­li­cans in Congress, which reined in fed­eral spend­ing.

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